March 12th, 2008

eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

This looks kind of fun...

I saw this on redeem147's LJ, and thought it looked hugely interesting. Plus, I'm actually around a little today, so I can do a few mini-blogs:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on yaoi, graphic techniques, etc.

Or you know, just something you want to hear about more, lol.
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

First question - Writing professionally

In response to my earlier post, redeem147 asked, What gave you the strength and inclination to pursue writing professionally?

Believe it or not, writing romance right now isn't my first experience with professional writing. I had my first professional publication in 1995 (though I'd had professional performances of my work - a couple plays and a screenplay - prior to that). It wasn't fiction, though. It was a trivia/history book on the Oscars, called - sadly enough - The Oscars Fact & Trivia. Unsurprisingly, it tanked, lol. But I got a taste of what it was like to do publicity then, and had a few book signings and radio interviews that were kind of fun. I've wanted to do something creative professionally since I was 14, actually. Back then, though, I thought about acting. Then it switched to filmmaking. Then marriage and kids happened, and I shifted my priorities again.

What pushed me in 2005 to give it a go again was a number of factors. First of all, my kids were getting a little older. I had more time on my hands. I didn't have any family nearby, but Craig and I had agreed that we'd like one parent at home full-time while the kids are young so I didn't want to go back to work outside the home yet. I also saw people I knew getting involved, which is always encouraging. The part of the Buffy writing community I hung around in was always hugely supportive of each other's skills and dreams.

I had sadbhyl to cling to while we tried navigating the e-waters together, but I think things really took for me when I hooked up with pepperlandgirl4 in spring 2006. In spite of knowing of her before then, we'd never really talked or been involved in anyway prior to the wickedverse. (And wow, that was two years ago?!? It just doesn't feel like it.) We started tagging together, then writing, and frankly, she's the spine and thick skin I don't have. I would never be able to weather a lot of the rejection writers have to go through without her. I have the self-confidence of a gnat sometimes.

But I stick with it because I *love* to tell stories. I have since I was 4 years old. Writing is really my addiction. And writing professionally has the potential of giving me the biggest audience. That's really what it comes down to. That's what I remind myself when I think I suck and I should just quit - which is often, just ask Pepper, lol. I *need* a creative outlet. Fanfic was terrific for me while the show was going and right after, but without another fandom to fall into - Buffy was really an anomaly for me - that well dries up. So I do what I have to in order not to go crazy, lol.
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

Second question - My time in England

In response to my earlier post, missus_grace said, I'd love to hear about your time in England and how it was for you coming back to the States after being there.

My plan to live in the UK was never meant to last 5 years. In January '99, Craig proposed. We lived in Pennsylvania, and when we started doing the research about what it meant for an American to marry a Brit, we learned very quickly that it was easier, faster, and cheaper to get married in England. So the plan was, I'd live in England for a year, experience it, maybe get to travel a bit.

Plans never work that way.

We were married in May '99. By the end of June, I was pregnant. I couldn't drive, Craig was working a lot, and I was 100% reliant on my mother-in-law for everything. I didn't gain any measure of independence until August '00, which was hugely hard on me because I'd been on my own since I was 18. I tried working in London part-time for a few months at that point, but I had a difficult time letting go control on Alicia's day-to-day stuff and stopped in December '00. Which is just as well because in March I got pregnant again.

I lived in England for 5 years total, almost all of it fairly isolated. I was ready to move back to the US, and frankly, so was Craig. He hadn't really wanted to stay that long. He preferred living in the states. But when I went back at Christmas this past year, I realized what the difference for me really was.

England is *cozy*. There's a sense of community and family there that I just don't have here in the US. Part of that is because I'm in California and I don't have family nearby. I'm a loner by nature and if the family isn't right in my face, then I have a tendency to just go merrily along on my own. In England, we never had that option. There is a strong sense of family with Craig's. The kids saw Nanny and Grandad at least once a week, cousins at least once every couple of weeks. In a lot of ways, it felt safer.

Coming back to the US...there's more choices here. Which is a good and a bad thing. Life in England is simpler, but that's because of necessity more than anything else. Oh, and my Diet Mountain Dew addiction is always in trouble when I'm over there because you can't get it. You can't get regular Mountain Dew, either, unless you want to pay $4 a can. I took two 24 packs of cans with me when we went at Christmas, and rationed myself 1 a day, lol.

But the biggest thing in coming back? I feel independent again. I *never* got that in the UK. Maybe I could now, I don't know. But that makes it all worth it to me.
eurydice james: pepperlandgirl4

4th Question - Favorite Meal to Cook

In response to my earlier post, spikesgurl said, You mentioned your domestic goddess skills... What is your favorite meal to cook, and why? Recipes would be lovely :)

You know, this is actually a toughie for me, mostly because I am constantly trying new recipes. I get bored very easily. Plus, sometimes my favorite meal to cook is the one that gets done the fastest because I don't have time to fuss, lol.

That being said, I have my standards that I always like to do, or I get asked for a lot.

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Speaking of recipes, I should really start posting more of them again. I'm a huge breakfast person, too. I really like finding new recipes for that. Oh, and Pepper arrives on Saturday for a week long visit, and I asked her what she wanted. She asked for Craig to grill steaks (because he's awesome on the grill), and for the chocolate strawberry truffle cake. I think I'm going to make her and her sisters be my guinea pigs for the week, lol.